Is There a Safer Day of the Week to Have Elective Surgery?

Posted on Jun 20, 2013

The weekend effect has been previously documented through studies. The weekend effect alleges that a patient who visits the emergency room on Saturday or Sunday has a greater chance of dying than a patient who visits the emergency room during the week. Now, a new study suggests that a similar scenario may be occurring for patients who seek elective surgeries.

According to a study recently published in BMJ, patients who have elective surgeries later in the week have a higher risk of fatality than patients who have elective surgeries earlier in the week. This is thought to be the first study to examine any possible correlation between the day of the week of an elective surgery and the death rate of patients. 

Specifically, researchers examined data from more than 4 million inpatient elective surgical procedures that occurred from 2008 – 2010. Researchers found that the risk of dying within 30 days of an elective procedure was much greater if the procedure occurred on a Friday rather than a Monday.

However, it is important to note that the overall risks of dying from inpatient elective surgical procedures remain low. Yet, medical malpractice mistakes can result in injuries or death any day of the week.

Researchers are recommending that further research be done to determine any other correlation between surgery safety and the day of the week it occurs.

Our Kentucky medical malpractice lawyers extend our sincere condolences to the families of anyone who was killed by a malpractice mistake during elective surgery.

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Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law